Editing Tips That Make You A Better Writer

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Editing Tips That Make You A Better Writer

No writer ever has written a perfect script in the very first draft. When you write something and then read it again you will come across many different mistakes. These mistakes can be of different types such as grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and even typographical blunders. Submitting a piece of work filled with errors is very immature and needs to be edited. When you re-read what you have written you will be able to make all the necessary corrections and perfect your work. There are several Editing Tips you can use to make sure the editing is flawless. I am listing down some of them that will definitely improve your editing experience.

1) Be specific about your audience. When you’re writing something think about your audience first. If you are writing for the general public then you need to make sure you are not using a very fancy vocabulary that most of the public will not understand. Your writing will go to waste as people will not read it because of its difficulty level. Make it as simple as it can get. Not only will simple writing please the general undereducated public but also the highly educated ones. When editing, simply rephrase the complex sentences and simplify them to put the meaning across effectively.

2) Distribute sentences evenly; do not write extremely long sentences. These will confuse the reader and make them loose interest. Cut the long sentences into two, do not insert commas and prolong a sentence. A long sentence has many ideas all scrambled into one, try to give each idea a sentence of its own. Also exclude unnecessary details. Not everything is important, skip the lesser important things and focus on the vital ones.

3) Focus on the voice of your writing and make it certain that the entire piece of writing is written in one voice. The most suggested voice is ‘I’ and ‘You’. If you use multiple voices in one piece of writing you can greatly confuse the readers and yourself. Decide on the voice of the script before actually starting the writing process. Read your script and look for places where you have shifted from one voice to another. Correct it. Similarly try to use a variety of sentence structures such as passive voice and active voice. Use them interchangeably, do not just stick to passive voice.

4) When shifting from one paragraph to another make sure that the transition is smooth. Do not take any sharp turns that will make your writing look very disconnected. When changing paragraphs, one trick you can use to make it smooth is using transition words. There are transition words for every situation for example, if you want to add more information on the same point or talk about another point but of the same stance you can the word “additionally” or “similarly”. When talking about a contrasting point you can use the phrase “on the other hand” or “in contrast”. Using transitional words will help you smoothly jump from paragraph to paragraph.

5) Check the punctuations. Read the length of your essay and see whether the punctuations that you have used are appropriately placed or not. Many times writers misuse punctuations and place them where ever they like. When you are writing for an audience this will not be acceptable and the writer should give it importance. Avoid throwing in punctuations and only use them if it is needed. Also do not skip on punctuations. They are an important part of your writing and glues the entire writing together.

6) Avoid vagueness. You are writing to put your points across, if your writing is vague and does not make much sense then the entire purpose of the writing is defeated. Do not use generalized statements, be very clear and straightforward. Do not beat around the bush and tell it how it is. Using generalized statements can make your writing weak and wish-washy. It will make it difficult for people to read your writing and trust what you say. Even if you are making any general statement always back it with an example relating to your topic to make it valid.

7) Paragraphing is very important. Most writers do not give much importance to paragraphing and write in long never ending paragraphs. Writers need to understand the outlook of writing is very important to motivate readers to read your writing. No one wants to read a continuous passage of words all mixed together. To gain reader’s interest divide your passage into small paragraphs and also include bullet points if you can. Bullet points instantly grab the attention of the reader and forces them to read on. When editing make sure that paragraphs are short and convey the point effectively.

8) Read your text word to word. There are many overlooked errors that can only be indentified if you read it closely. A great way to do this is to edit your work with a fresh mind. Do not start editing as soon as you are done with writing. Take a day off, go for a walk and completely take your mind off of the paper. When you sit with a fresh mind it will be easier for you to indentify the mistakes. A great technique to indentify mistakes is to read your work out loud. When you read out loud you are engaging your sense of hearing and you will be able to hear your mistake even if your mind over looks it. Or better yet ask someone to read it to you; this will also help you indentify errors better. You can even use software that reads out your writing to you.

9) Cross-check all the facts and figures that you have written down. Always use credible sources to get your facts and figures. Using incorrect information can decrease the validity of your text greatly. Also avoid make generalizations in aspects to facts. Get the statistics from various sources and compare to see if it is correct. Also refer to the source so that the audience knows that you did not make up the statistic on your own.

10) Edit your document several times and not just once. Read it at least thrice so that all the errors are identified and corrected. You will find errors each time you sit to edit do not get agitated as this is a very essential step and will make your writing perfect. You will be able reach the greatness and level of perfection you dream of.

11) When you sit to edit your work look for one type of mistake in one sitting such as first look for all spelling errors, read the entire text and look for just the spelling mistakes. Then look for grammatical follies, again read the entire text in search for grammatical mistakes. Doing this will help you eradicate all errors.

12) It is very difficult to look for mistakes on an online copy of the text, we over look several mistakes and this results in faulty editing. It is suggested that you take a print out of your work and do the editing in the conventional way. Take a red pen and sit down. This is a great practice and you will be able to identify your mistakes and keep track of them proficiently.

To become a better writer you must learn the art of editing. Editing is not an additional step but a part of the writing process.  Editing helps improve the content of the script also improves on the quality of linguistic aspects. Writing at a professional level or at an academic level is not child’s play. It should be dealt with tact in order to get the most out of it. Such petty mistakes can be intolerable and cause you great embarrassment in front of your audience. Or if you are a student and are writing academically then it can even cause you to loose precious marks and loose a grade you could’ve easily achieved if you edited your work properly. Learn all the tips you can and up your editing game, you will indentify your patterns and learn what mistakes you commonly make. Once indentified, you will be sure to avoid such mistakes when you write for the next time consequently making you a better writer.

By | 2019-09-14T12:05:32+00:00 September 14th, 2019|editing|0 Comments

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